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2nd Edition Newsletter, 2020

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04 Feb
2021
2nd Edition Newsletter, 2020

Mrs Uchenna Otoboeze ( VP BSOF)

GOODWILL MESSAGE FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT’S DESK

In this second edition of the BSOF Newsletter, I take the special privilege to honour the women folk, whose contributions in the society and homes make them the epicenter of activities. I also use the same opportunity to pay tribute to the women in our society at this special event of the celebration of Women and Youths Skill Training Initiative Program (WYSTIP), which holds on November 1st 2020.

In BSOF we spend substantial resources and time at our disposal to carter for the women, especially the widows and the girl youths. The most challenging problem faced by widows is that of accommodation and their children’s welfare. This is why BSOF builds and donates houses to widows, annually in rural communities, and provides skill training opportunities for women, girl-youths along with boys and people of strength (persons living with disability). There is no doubt that acquiring some skills training by this category people in the society is the best way to survive the socioeconomic challenges of unemployment, hunger and deprivation during and after Covid-19 pandemic.

Our Skill Acquisition Centre at Ochima, Igboetiti LGA of Enugu State, remains open to any woman, youth and person of strength from any part of Nigeria, irrespective of tribe or religion, at no cost. We are currently starting a special training program for 50 women, girl youths, boys and persons of strength in Nigeria. I therefore invite all members within the target group to take advantage of the program to acquire life-saving skills at the BSOF Skill Acquisition Centre

Sam. O…Foundation! Sam. O…Foundation!! ….Where? Here!  There!! …And, Everywhere!!!

LEARN A SKILL TODAY!
LEARN A SKILL TODAY!
DESIGN THINKING TOWARDS ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Design Thinking is a process for creative problem solving. It critically has a human centered core. It encourages organizations to focus on the people they are creating a product or a service for, which leads to better product, services and internal processes. It is an interative process in which we seek to understand the user, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding. At the same time, Design Thinking provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It is a way of thinking and working as well as a collection of hands-on methods.
In recent times, the efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 are taking a major toll on global economy, forcing businesses to shut down, cut jobs, reducing workers’ ability to go to work, and place an extra burden of care on parents and particularly on youths. There is therefore a huge demand and focus on youths developing certain skills or skillset to enable them remain employable or earn a living outside a normal circular job. Therefore, the need for skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development to sustain a healthy nation. Hence, design thinking is relevant in getting into the minds of the type of customers they intend to target.
Design Thinking also involves ongoing experimentation: sketching, prototyping, testing, and trying out concepts and ideas.
Humans naturally develop patterns of thinking modeled on repetitive activities and commonly accessed knowledge. These assist us in quickly applying the same actions and knowledge in similar or familiar situations, but they also have the potential to prevent us from quickly and easily accessing or developing new ways of seeing, understanding and solving problems.
The Skill Acquisition Centre which was commissioned in 2017 by the Former Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, on behalf of the Enugu State Governor, currently produces an average of 200 bags per month and turns out an average of ten skilled producers every year. It has the capacity to train up to 3000 yearly, under the Train-the-Trainers Scheme, when fully developed.
The Covid-19 pandemic has no doubt worsened the national and global economic crisis and made things more difficult for women and youths. With the projected 39.6million job losses in Nigeria due to Covid-19, the socio-economic situation of the women and youths will certainly be aggravated, as more people, especially women and youths will become jobless and increased pressure for daily essential needs on the mothers.
Design Thinking revolves around a deep interest in developing an understanding of the people for whom we’re designing the products or services. It helps us observe and develop empathy with the target user. Design Thinking helps us in the process of questioning: questioning the problem, questioning the assumptions and questioning the implications. Design Thinking is extremely useful in tackling problems that are ill-defined or unknown, by re-framing the problem in human-centric ways, creating many ideas in brainstorming sessions, and adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing.
At the Skills centre, these women and youths are taught how to design products (bags, belts and other fantastic leather works absolutely putting in mind the needs of the customers. This strategy enables BSOF Skills Acquisition Centre to turn out high quality products and at the same time empowering the youths to build their own businesses and hence, earn a healthy and worthy means of livelihood.
BSOF strategy and message to the youths and nation as a whole is to essentially equip themselves in skills education; and BSOF message to other individuals, organizations, and the government is to invest thoroughly in developing a tradition of engaging youths and mentoring them to acquire skills in addition to a formal education and if perhaps uneducated, an informal education is advised.  This will meaningfully contribute towards reducing the socioeconomic impact of Covid-19. During one of our Sponsorship/Partnership meetings with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development of Nigeria (SMEDAN) Deputy Director Baba Ibrahim said, “If all Nigerians could be like BSOF, and do as much as we are doing by reaching the hopeless, providing skills training for the women and youths inclusive of the physically challenged persons; then Nigeria would certainly be a better place”.
BSOF Skills Acquisition Training Centre -Ochima Enugu State
Variety of quality bags produced at the BSOF Skills Centre
                         CALL TO ACTION.
“Skills training for 50 rural women in Nigeria” 
Anukwu Rosemary is 29 years old and a person living with disability (PLWD). She is one out of the several beneficiaries of the free skills training program of Barrister Sam Otoboeze Foundation (BSOF), who was assisted with an artificial limb and a small scale business take off grant of N50,000(about $115) in November, 2019 to start up her own tailoring business. Today, Rosemary has a successful business in Delta State of Nigeria and is currently engaged to be wedded in October, this year. This is one of the several BSOF’s free skills training programs that returned 360 degrees success in touching and …giving hope to the hopeless.
At BSO Foundation, our first priority is making sure we’re able to provide widows, other women, young girls, youths and people living with disability the tools they need to learn, grow and becomeeconomicallyindependent.In this September, BSOF needs to raise $50,000 to be able to achieve our goal of training 50 Nigeria women and youths in our Covid-19 for-ever palliatives program tagged ‘women, youths skills training initiative project’ (WYSTIP).There is no doubt that acquiring some special skills training by this category people in the society is the best way to survive the socioeconomic challenges of unemployment, hunger and deprivation during and after Covid-19 pandemic. In BSOF we are determined to turn the Covid-19 pandemic challenge into a blessing for some socioeconomically disadvantaged women, girl-youths, boys and Persons Living with Disabilities in Nigeria
If we can get just 50 individuals, private organizations, NGOs to donate only $1000 each or 25 organizations to donate just $2000 each, we shall have raised enough money to permanently change the socioeconomic situation of not only 50 persons in Nigeria but another 50 dependents! Even gift cards of $100 each by only 500 persons will create the same miracle! A complimentary contribution of $10, $20 etc will also go a long way in our fundraising goal for the WYSTIP project to enable 50 women, widows, youths and persons living with disabilities in our midst to realize their hopes and aspirations. These women deserve a decent meal, and a decent job to put food on their tables. As a leader in your organization, private businesses you are an important part of our fundraising campaign. You no doubt understand the pressing need for solutions to the rising cases of hunger, insecurity, joblessness and various crimes in Nigeria. At BSOF, our efforts to solve this problem will not be enough without your very support! We’d love to invite you to team up with us to help make a difference! No amount will be too small!
Your generous donations can be done through the following GlobalGiving funding platform:
 https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/skills-training-for-50-rural-women-in-nigeria/
GlobalGiving is the largest global crowd funding community connecting nonprofit, donors and companies in nearly every country. Funds and donations will be raised effective 14/9 through the above link to support the training of 50 women at our Skills Acquisition centre.Thank you for being part of this great project of Giving Hope to the Hopeless at this most trying period especially among less privileged women, youths and persons living with disabilities in Nigeria. Your kind donations will certainly make the difference.
Rosemary Anukwu at her business space( BSOF Beneficiary)
Rosemary making a dress
PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES (PLWD) ARTIFICIAL LIMBS DONATIONS AND EMPOWERMENT PROJECT
Barrister Sam Otoboeze Foundation (BSOF)
The foundation whose sole aim and targets are to aid and support the poor and needy within and beyond her immediate environment, has impressively progressed on her quest in humanitarian affairs without any form of political agenda.
According to The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) promotes the full integration of persons with disabilities in societies. The CRPD specifically references the importance of international development in addressing the rights of persons with disabilities. One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability; and disability prevalence is higher in developing countries. One-fifth of the estimated global total, or between 110 million and 190 million people, experience significant disabilities.
However, the past and present contribution of Port Harcourt branch to BSOF foundation cannot be over emphasized as the branch has contributed immensely to the growth of this noble foundation from its inception and has undergone several projects involving physically challenged persons. Physically challenged persons are more likely to experience adverse socioeconomic problems due to various obvious reasons including but not limited to poor education, poverty and so on.
In 2017, fourteen (14) Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWD) were beneficiaries of artificial limbs. This was done primarily to facilitate their movement and also empower them to make honest living for themselves rather than being beggars on streets.The outcomes of the People of strength Empowerment Programme (PSEP) is to reduce the impact of stress involved and socio-economic difficulty that comes with disabilities, such as less education, poorer health outcomes, lower levels of employment, and higher poverty rates. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development clearly states that disability cannot be a reason or criteria for lack of access to development programming and the realization of human rights. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework includes seven targets, which explicitly refer to persons with disabilities, and six further targets on persons in vulnerable situations, which include persons with disabilities. The SDGs address essential development domains such as education, employment and decent work, social protection, resilience to and mitigation of disasters, sanitation, transport, and non-discrimination – all of which are important areas of work for the Barrister Sam Otoboeze Foundation. The Foundation did not only provide artificial/prosthetic limbs to the PLWD but also during our People of Strength (PSEP) event, several beneficiaries were awarded cash donations to enable them start-up small and medium scale businesses. As COVID-19 continues to have wide-reaching impacts across the globe, it is important to note how persons with disabilities are uniquely impacted by the pandemic, including health, feeding, and transport.
In the area of health, many persons with disabilities have additional underlying health needs that make them particularly vulnerable to severe symptoms of COVID-19, If they contract it. Persons with disabilities may also be at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 because information about the disease, including the symptoms and prevention, are not provided in easily accessible formats. It was in this regard that BSO Foundation paid a visit to the settlement of PLWD’s in Abuja. They were properly sensitized as well as given relief materials to enable them lead more comfortable lives and fend for themselves.
PEOPLE OF STRENGTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM (PSEP) BENEFICIARIES
MONITORING & EVALUATION (M & E) VISITATION
During the last BSOF Annual Event, four Persons Living with Disabilities (particularly Amputees), were awarded seed grants to help them start-up small business and improve their living circumstances.  The four beneficiaries are:
  1. Ms. Ukamaka Ojinalokwu
  2. Mr. Ugwuoke Gabriel
  3. Mr. Chukwudi Azegba
  4. Mr. Simeon Ezugwu

Ms Ukamaka Ojinalokwu is a 27 years old young woman, who is currently the bread-winner of her family of five inclusive of her aged parents. BSOF awarded her with a seed grant of One Hundred Thousand Naira only (N100,000). She started a tailoring shop and from her daily business, she now supports herself and her family members.

Mr. Ugwuoke Gabriel is a 46 years old father of four, who is also one of the beneficiaries of the One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000) seed grant given to the People of Strength Empowerment Programme (PSEP) by BSOF. Mr. Gabriel started a palm oil producing company, from the cash award, he purchased a machine extracting the oil from the palm fruits and also the palm kernel producing both palm oil and palm kernel oils.  With this hard work, his family has daily source of income and food on their tables.

In addition to these success stories of these two beneficiaries who used their seed grants properly. The other two beneficiaries (Mr. Chukwudi Azegba and Mr. Simon Ezugwu) sadly, misused their own seed grants. They had nothing to show from the monies awarded them, but rather gave several excuses on the current situation in the country as a result of COVID-19.

BSOF SPECIAL

SCHOLARSHIP PROJECT

Sam Chibuzor is one of the several beneficiaries of the Barrister Sam Otoboeze Scholarship Program. His story comes with a bitter-sweet memory as it was during the lockdown imposed by most states in Nigeria while BSOF was reaching out to support several families in poorest communities with relief materials that he was met. This particular outreach was in a local community church in Port Harcourt where someone mentioned a boy whose mother was killed by some unknown people after she had gone to her farmland to harvest some plantain for her daily business.
Unfortunately, that was the last time she was seen alive as her corpse was found later in the bush. She died leaving behind her unemployed sick husband and three sons. Sam the beneficiary was her first son who had no other means to continue his education. Then luck shone his way, when the matter was brought to the knowledge of the President of Barrister Sam Otoboeze Foundation. On hearing the sad tale, the President swung to action immediately to provide for her first son, Sam who, coincidently, is his namesake. Sam was offered scholarship all through his primary and tertiary level.
“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special” – Nelson Mandela
Barrister Sam Otoboeze Foundation under the auspices of the Founder and President has given this boy hope and something to truly look forward to: An Education!

The pictures above shows Sam with his father (right) and Sam in a group photograph with BSOF Port Harcourt members (left)
TESTIMONIALS OF BSOF BENEFICIARIES
360 DEGREES TURNAROUND

Anukwu Rosemary Isioma is a beneficiariary of the free training program of Barrister Sam Otoboeze Skills Acquisition Centre in Ochima Enugu State. Her strong desire to learn how to make dresses and beads making was rralized  through benevolence showed to her and several other women and youths inclusive of the People Living with Disability (PLWD). Rosemary is an amputee who was assisted with an artificial (prostethic) limb and a small scale business take off grant of N50,000 (about $115) in November. Intrestingly, today Rosemary has a successful business in fashion and designing and beads making.
Her bead making business has provided her multiple streams of income, where she not only makes the beads and sells but also rents them to customers as wedding adornments/ ornaments for their marriages. The 360 degrees complete circle  is almost completed as, Rosemary is engaged to be married in October 2020.
Her beads making business
THANK YOU NOTE!

I would want to express my gratitude to God and the entire editorial team with special reference to Rev Fr, (Dr) Eva Chuma Nnamene MEMBER BOARD OF TRUSTEES, Mr. Joseph Agaga( ICT Specialist),Mr. Emmmanuel Ezea (Abuja member), Mr Alvin Nonso(Lagos member) Mr. Chuka Emeka (Enugu member & Hon Pastor Emeka Abugu Enugu member)  Mr. Ogwu Chukwuma(Port Harcourt member), and Ms Agbenu E Okibe (O.M National Office Abuja). Thank you for your valuable support in esuring the success of this edition.

 

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Barr. Samuel C. Otoboeze, CPP
Bsof president
PROF. BENJAMIN, I. ISIFE,
PhD(UNN) - (member, board of trustee)
Barr. G. O. Okafor, OON, SAN, KSJ
(member, board of trustee)
HRH Igwe Christain Eze (Ezeoha I of Idoha)
(member, board of trustee)
Rev. Fr. (Dr). Eva Chuma Nnamene
(member, board of trustee)
Prof. Ngozi Ejionueme
(member, board of trustee)